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City Picks New Bend Police Chief 

Mike Krantz from the Portland Police Bureau brings experience in racial equity, City says

Bend City Manager Eric King has chosen Mike Krantz as the new chief of the Bend Police Department. Krantz was the assistant chief at the Portland Police Bureau, the largest department in the state, where he’s served for 27 years. He starts the new job August 10.

click to enlarge Mike Krantz of the Portland Police Bureau will be Bend's new chief of police. - MIKE KRANTZ
  • Mike Krantz
  • Mike Krantz of the Portland Police Bureau will be Bend's new chief of police.
Chief Jim Porter retired Thursday after 29 years of service. He took over as chief in 2014 after King fired his predecessor. During that time, morale was low among officers. In 2014, only 54% of people in Bend trusted Bend police officers to “do the right thing,” according to a Portland State University survey. By 2019, this had risen to 84%.

Krantz developed and implemented the Portland Police Bureau’s Racial Equity Plan, which focused on addressing the root causes of inequities within the bureau, according to Thursday's release, also building the bureau’s Office of Community Engagement to create relationship and build trust in the Portland Community. He's also described as having helped to form the Latino Advisory Council to respond to concerns that police would start enforcing immigration laws.

“I am excited to build on the strong foundational relationships that the Bend Police Department has developed with the community and ensure the department continues to be on the leading edge of public safety,” Krantz said in a statement. “I am looking forward to the opportunity to work with an incredible group of people that have proven over and over again their unwavering commitment to serve and protect their community.”

Krantz holds a bachelor’s degree in public policy and administration from Western Oregon University, is a graduate from the Police Executive Research Forum Senior Management Institute for Police, and holds an executive certificate from the Oregon Department of Public Safety Standards and Training, according to the release.

City Manager Eric King said this of the hire:

“Mike has a reputation for being a creative, collaborative and innovative leader in public safety. He has a unique ability to translate what he learns from his peers and community partnerships into meaningful policy reform. That ability, paired with his recent work in diversity and equity, will provide strong leadership as our department continues working with our community to address concerns about the relationship between race and public safety.”

Krantz won the position over 30 other applicants and five finalists including three within the BPD: Capt. Nick Parker, Lt. Brian Beekman and Deputy Chief Paul Kansky.

This story will be updated as reaction comes in from other community leaders.

About The Author

Laurel Brauns

Laurel has toured the national coffeehouse circuit as a singer-songwriter and spent years buried in psychology books to earn her (in-progress) PhD. She was rescued from both artistic and academic obscurity by The Source Weekly where she loves telling stories about the people who make this community a better place...
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